What Ingredients Are In the Flu Vaccine?
The this year’s common quadrivalent flu shot contains the following ingredients:
Flu Strain A/(Michigan) (H1N1)
Flu Strain A/(Hong Kong) (H3N2)
Flu Strain B/(Brisbane)
Flu Strain B/(Phuket)
Chicken Egg Proteins
Why Is Formaldehyde In the Flu Shot?
Like many vaccines, a flu shot does contain the virus that it is preventing. That’s where formaldehyde comes in, to deactivate the virus and prevent the toxins from causing illness.
In large doses, formaldehyde is toxic and deadly. In order for a human to receive a lethal amount of formaldehyde from a flu shot, they would need to take over 10 million doses in a day. This is due to the molecule’s dilution during the manufacturing process and tiny amount that is present in each shot.
What Is Gelatin Doing In a Flu Shot?
Gelatin serves a simple purpose in a flu shot: keep the vaccine effective between manufacturing and use.
For those that are against consumption of animal products or have an allergy to pork, this ingredient may be an issue. Most flu vaccines use a pig-based collagen as their stabilizer.
But, for anyone with no problem eating candy or marshmallows, both of which use pig-based gelatin, the amount in a flu vaccine won’t be an issue.
What is Aluminum the Aluminum in a Flu Shot?
Aluminum is another common part in all vaccines. It is an adjuvant to help build the body’s resistance against the disease. Adjuvants are also active in preventing sickness from the disease after receiving the shot. Aluminum is the most used adjuvant in vaccines for over 80 years.
What Purpose Do Chicken Egg Proteins Serve In a Flu Shot?
The virus needs somewhere to grow before it’s in the vaccine, and that’s where eggs can be useful.
For most flu vaccines, the virus copies itself while in fertilized chicken eggs. It’s then separated from the egg and is ready for vaccination.
Sometimes egg protein remains in the virus after the process. This may also be a problem for those against animal consumption.
Recent studies show the flu shot is usually safe for those with egg allergies. Be sure to note your condition to a medical professional before receiving your vaccine.
Getting the flu vaccine is one of the best ways to avoid the flu this season. Also try these other steps to protect yourself against the flu virus:
Wash your hands with warm water and soap or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to kill germs throughout the day, especially before you eat.
Even if your hands are clean, keep them away from your eyes, nose, and mouth, which are entry routes for flu viruses and other germs.
Try to stay away from anyone who looks sick.
If someone in your house catches the flu, disinfect any surfaces they touch, such as countertops and doorknobs.
Cover your nose and mouth whenever you sneeze. Cough and sneeze into your elbow to avoid contaminating your hands.